Astrophysics

The most exotic material on the planet: researchers find dust from beyond the solar system

Researchers believe they have found seven dust specs from outside the solar system. This is the first time we have the chance to directly analyze interstellar matter. The material was probably ejected from a supernova.

Still hot inside the Moon? Earth gravity creating a hot layer

Scientists have indirectly demonstrated the existence of a hot layer surrounding the Moon's core, through seismic and deformation studies. This layer is created by the gravity exerted by the Earth on the Moon and can provide valuable information regarding the evolution of the Earth-Moon system.

NASA confirms “Impossible” propellant-free microwave thruster works

Designs for a device called a “microwave thruster” were proposed in 2006. While the device was physically sound and followed the principles of relativity, it has been dismissed by researchers who claimed that such a functioning device would defy the law of conservation of momentum. A team from NASA set out to trial the device and see […]

ESA’s billion-star surveyor, Gaia, ready to begin its science mission

Gaia is an unmanned space observatory of the European Space Agency (ESA) which aims to catalog approximately 1 billion astronomical objects (mostly stars), about 1% of the Milky Way population. Gaia will provide a trove of valuable and spectacular data, including a precise three-dimensional map of astronomical objects throughout the Milky Way and map their […]

Mercury iron might be the result of cosmic collision

The Earth contains a lot of iron, but it is not alone in the solar system in that aspect. Venus, Mars, the Moon and asteroids such as Vesta all have iron in their structure, but Mercury is the champion in that aspect: about 70 percent of its mass is iron! Now, researchers believe they have […]

Newfound Planet ‘Gliese 832c’ May Be Able To Support Life

A newfound alien planet located “just” 16 light years away from Earth might be able to support life, a new study has shown. To get some perspective, the Milky Way is approximately 100,000 light-years across. The closest planet to our solar system is Proxima Centauri – 4.2 light-years away. A recent study concluded that there are […]

When Galaxies Collide: Triple Black Hole System Discovered

Two decades ago, astronomers started to find evidence that almost all galaxies have a supermassive black hole at their center. However, the discovery of a trio of black holes circling the center of a distant galaxy, reported by astronomers on Wednesday indicates that duos and trios of black holes are much more common than previously thought. […]

Light from huge explosion 12 billion years ago reaches Earth

Intense light from a huge explosion (a gamma ray burst) that took place shortly after the birth of the Universe (12 billion years ago) has reached Earth, and was observed by researchers. Gamma Ray bursts are the strongest explosions since the Big Bang – in just 10 seconds, they release more energy than our sun in […]

The first Thorne-Zytkow object, a bizarre type of hybrid star, discovered by astronomers

Physicist Kip Thorne and astronomer Anna Zytkow proposed a new theoretical class of stars back in 1975, but it was only very recently that such an example of hybrid star was identified in the universe. The Thorne-Zytkow Objects (TZOs) are a combination between red supergiant and neutron stars, superficially looking like normal red supergiants, like […]

Oldest known potentially habitable exoplanet discovered just 13 lightyears away

An international team of astronomers reported the discovery of two new planets orbiting a very old and nearby star to the Sun named Kapteyn’s star; one of the planets, Kapteyn b, is potentially habitable – it has the right size, and is at the right distance from its start to host liquid water. What makes it even […]

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